photograph Newcastle University student wins silver in BUCS cycle race

Newcastle University cyclist Freddie Jagger won silver medal in his first-ever track competition.

Held at the Manchester Velodrome, the BUCS Track Cycling Championships saw the third-year student and road cycling expert finish second and score eight BUCS points in his first major track race.

Freddie, 21, said: “In the individual timed events I produced decent times, given my lack of experience and indoor testing and finished 18th and 24th in the Individual Pursuit and the Kilo (a one-kilometre race).

“The group races were on the following day, and I thought I would do better in due to it translating from road racing. However, I had never ridden on the track in a group let alone raced so the odds were very much against me. In the elimination race I made it through the heats to the final but a tactical error ended up with me being boxed in and eliminated in around 13th position.

“The points race was the last race of the evening with over 120laps (30km). I managed to lap the field with another strong rider early on which gave me a good advantage on points (20), but through the sprints every 10 laps which were worth 5 points each some other riders were catching us up. I and the leader then took another lap each so gaining another 20 points which meant bar crashing gold and silver were guaranteed as ours.

“The other rider I took the laps with however was much stronger all-round and took some points in the sprints so held a decent margin over me to take gold, given he has had good results against professionals and rides for a national level team it was a very respectable second, beating some very good track riders in the process, considering my complete lack of experience.”

Freddie, from York, is a Newcastle University Sports Scholar and a member of the University’s Cycling Club. He also cycles for the North East club, Cycleways-SG Petch.

The Geography student said: “This year we have many new people at the University Cycling Club. The club has got a lot bigger, we are more organised and we started taking training trips around the country. I would encourage anyone interested in cycling to sign up with the University’s Cycling Society.”

Freddie first stared cycling on his father’s road bike in 2011. The Newcastle University student then bought his own bike and cycled in his first race in 2012. The BUCS event in Manchester was Freddie’s first-ever track competition. He completed the Kilo race in 1 minute 12 seconds, an average speed of 53.57 km/h. 

He said: “I only started track cycling a month ago. My coach thought it would be good for the winter to get into track cycling. I’ve done quite a lot of road racing, so it was easy to get used to the Velodrome in Manchester. The main difference is in the track bike, which doesn’t have any gears or brakes. The event is a lot shorter than road races, essentially a flat-out racing for 20 or 40 minutes.

“I would encourage people to find and try out their local velodrome as participation is the only thing that keeps them open and they are is a great way to get into cycling without having to be on the roads."       

Ivan Lazarov

published on: 7th December 2016